Hong Kong-listed Suncity Group Holdings Ltd says a Philippines-based subsidiary has signed a lease agreement to use a site earmarked for a casino scheme located in that country’s capital Manila. The deal had been first announced in October last year, as part of a move by Suncity Group Holdings to enter the Philippines as a casino operator.
The lease agreement is valid until August 19, 2039, and is “automatically renewed” for another 25 years unless otherwise agreed by all parties, according to a Monday filing by Suncity Group Holdings. The latter’s unit will pay an annual rent of US$10.6 million upon commencement of casino operations, payable in two instalments on a semi-annual basis, added the document.
The agreement was signed by Suncity Group Holdings subsidiary Suntrust Home Developers Inc as the lessee, and Westside City Resorts World Inc and Travellers International Hotel Group Inc as the lessors.
Westside City Resorts World Inc is a subsidiary of Travellers International. The latter is in turn a venture between Philippine conglomerate Alliance Global Group Inc and casino cruise ship operator Genting Hong Kong Ltd.
Suntrust announced in October last year a “co-development” agreement with Westside City Resorts World Inc for a property identified as “Westside City Resorts”. Under the deal, the lessors agree to lease the casino resort project site to Suntrust for “development of the main hotel casino” of the complex, and Suntrust is to be appointed the “sole and exclusive operator and manager of the main hotel casino.”
Suncity Group Holdings had agreed to pay an initial US$200 million to Westside City Resorts World Inc to develop and operate the casino scheme via Suntrust.
The Westside City Resorts project will be located in Entertainment City, a 120-hectare (297-acre) parcel of reclaimed land in Metro Manila. Entertainment City as a whole is being marketed by the Philippine authorities as a casino cluster meant to emulate the success of Macau’s Cotai district.
Suncity Group Holdings said previously that the firm’s initial plan for Westside City Resorts includes total gaming capacity of 400 tables to serve the VIP and mass markets, and 1,200 slot machines. It will offer 400 five-star hotel rooms, a car park, and “non-gaming facilities themed around pool-side parties featuring a high-end pool club”. The property is to start operations “by fourth quarter 2022,” the company stated in the previous filings.
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"The initial expectation for the October Golden Week was that the Cotai casino resorts might see an average occupancy rate at 80 percent to 90 percent. But that rate now might stand at just 50 percent to 60 percent... following Macau’s news of the new Covid-19 infection cases”
Andy Wu Keng Kuong
President of the Macau Travel Industry Council